The world of youth sports is getting ever more competitive as time goes on and parents and coaches continue to live vicariously through the young men and women that take to the field.
As we’ve seen in the past, this vicarious living can often turn into horrendous actions.
A Salt Lake City, Utah youth football coach has been arrested for allegedly clotheslining a 13 year old player from an opposing team during the fourth quarter of a tied game, which led to the young man ending up with a concussion.
The coach, Nathan Harris, was arrested for investigation of child abuse following a video that surfaced of the incident in which Harris allegedly clotheslined the young man as he ran down the sideline of Harris’ team.
The two different outlooks on what exactly happened are predictable, but regardless of whether there was any malice intended by Harris’ actions the fact he made contact with the player which allegedly resulted in injury is shameful in, and of, itself.
Here are quotes attributed to two parties close to the case:
From police sargeant Dan Smith:
“As the 13-year-old ran down, Mr. Harris stepped out and hit him with his forearm under his chin. And then Mr. Harris stepped back and just stood there.”
“It looked like the coach had a lot of time to move, he didn’t move, and he stood there and delivered a blow.”
From Harris’ attorney, Dean Zabriskie, who claims the 13 year-old had already received contact and was pushed into Harris:
“It seems to me like a tempest in a teapot.”
Harris has been released on $5,000 bail as of Tuesday, and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office has yet to decide whether formal charges will be filed.
Obviously, there is some grey area here, and we won’t know how things turn out until the various legal authorities do their due diligence to determine what is black and white.
What isn’t grey area is that youth coaches are increasingly getting over-zealous and forgetting the line between their job as coaches and the players they are coaching.
That’s the moral here folks:
Living vicariously always leads to trouble and unnecessary grief. Let the players play, coaches. You coach and separate yourselves. It’s not your game to play.
Kids are kids– let’s please treat them as such.
H/T to CBS Chicago.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.